Doug Ford mulls run for Toronto mayor if brother is barred from byelection, says report

Even if Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is barred from running in a byelection until 2014, his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, may be eyeing the mayor’s seat as both men plot a strategy to keep Ford Nation alive, at least according to a report from the Toronto Star.

The story, from urban affairs reporter Robyn Doolittle, cites unnamed sources who say that, should Mayor Rob Ford be barred from running in a byelection, Doug Ford would step up to run for mayor and Rob Ford would make a run at provincial politics for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

Such a strategy would be a marked shift for the brothers. In the past, Doug Ford has supported provincial PC politicians, while Rob Ford has stuck to his municipal duties.

On Tuesday, Toronto solicitor Anna Kinastowski determined that a ruling issued by Superior Court Justice Charles Hackett on Monday means that not only is Mayor Rob Ford officially removed from office as of Monday, Dec. 10, he would also be barred from running for office again until his “current term” is up in 2014. “It is my opinion that that word ‘term’ means 2010 to 2014,” Kinastowski told city council.

Under Kinastowski’s interpretation, Rob Ford wouldn’t be permitted to run in a byelection, should the city call one before 2014.

But, Rob Ford still has a chance at keeping his position at mayor. His lawyers have launched an appeal and applied for a stay. If the stay application is approved, it would allow Ford to keep his position as mayor until the appeal process is complete.

The stay applicaiton will be heard Dec. 5 and the appeal hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Hackett’s ruling, which removes Rob Ford from office in 12 days, came after the mayor was found to have violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke at a council meeting and then voted on an item concerning the misuse of city resources for his own private football charity.

If a politician is found to be in violation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, the law requires that the he or she be removed from office.

The news about the Fords’ plans comes as a new poll from Forum Research shows that the majority of Torontonians agree with Judge Hackett’s decision, with 58 per cent supporting the court ruling.

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